Facing Reality

Let’s face it – virtual reality is taking the real world by storm. I don’t know about you, but I have very mixed feelings about this growing technology.

Cu-nF6BWIAAC5fY.jpgFunny enough, the photo on the right is me! I work at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and they used a virtual reality headset for their Empowering Women exhibit (I got to be the model for the website photo because I’m so dang attractive). The VR immersed visitors in the world of Guatemala, discussing the situation there regarding working women. In this sense, the VR was a really fun, interactive way to educate people on a heavy subject.

Indeed, authentic entertainment and interactive education are both great pros to this technology, but I’m afraid that people will become addicted to living in a virtual reality and neglect their duties as a real person in the real world.

Another problem is that people can get away with things in a virtual reality that they can’t get away with in the real world (for example, killing people in a video game). I’m afraid that people will start to think it’s okay to do things like this in the real world, and that is a very dangerous thing.

This technology is growing at an exponential rate, and it could be dangerous. It could also be a really great tool, but only if we use it for the right reasons. Let’s just hope it doesn’t all end like that Black Mirror episode, Playtest

 

Have you been inside the museum?

Time for another critique. Today we’re going to look at the websites of two museums – the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Bad Art. I chose these two in particular because they’re so different, and also because I just felt like it.

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Let’s start with the Art Institute of Chicago, a fancy place full of cultural collections and historical goodies. Their website lands on a page that doesn’t scroll, featuring a large slider with full-screen images. Looks pretty classy. As opposed to other websites that bombard you with information and menus and clickable areas, this one contains all navigation options in a single menu bar at the top, with drop down menus that appear when you hover over them. This kind of organization makes me happy. What doesn’t make me as happy is the slider text that appears over the image. Certain images with lots of contrast make the words difficult to read and decreases the accessibility of the site. This could be fixed with a gradient or subtle drop shadow to help bring out the words. Click here to view Chicago’s pretty page.

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On a completely different note, let’s talk about the Museum of Bad Art. Apparently they stuck with their theme of “terrible” and created this awful monstrosity of a website. Text too small to read, ugly colours, little-to-no hierarchy… and it’s not responsive. Don’t look at it if you don’t have to… but if you have to, click here.

Until next time!

Wiggly Rainbows and Other Cool Things

Here are two very cool and unique design portfolio websites that I found online at www.awwwards.com. The first is Anthony Goodison Design and the second is North2 Design.

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Let’s talk about Anthony first. Anthony seems like a really cool, very skilled nerd (I like nerds, I’m engaged to one). Almost everything on Anthony’s site is animated. But sometimes it can get distracting. In my opinion, if he just took out a few of the animations, it wouldn’t take away from his portfolio work. It also makes scrolling frustrating.. when.. every.. single.. scroll.. is.. animated. I like scrolling FAST. If you’re going do that Anthony, at least have a menu bar so we can flip between projects a bit quicker. Click here to view Anthony’s fancy-shmancy wiggly website.

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The second site I looked at was North2. Like Anthony, they’ve got lots of animations, but somehow I don’t find them quite as distracting. I liked the masking effects – very unique. My favourite page was the About Us page. I played around with it for almost 20 minutes. I thought the colours were a bit much, but that’s just me. I’d like to see the same site in black and white – I imagine it would look trés classy. Click here to view North2’s exciting rainbow extravaganza website.

Thanks for reading, folks.